Saturday 24th May – part 2

There was a huge marquee set up in front of the house.
Seems strange to be coming out here without the Wenborns in residence.
But Beth has married Mark, and his family own the place now, so it is sorta still in the family, in a roundabout sorta way!
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I was delighted to see on the guest list some friends of Anson’s.
Anson & Angus both boarded with my friend Chris in Blenheim during high school days and then they ended up shearing together in the same gang in Northland.
Lovely photo of Angus & Ratapu with their two wee darlings.

I took some photos randomly throughout the evening.
Nicky & me.
Not bad looking girls for being grandmothers of 18 wee poppets.
Lizzy and her precious wee Amelie.
Such kissable wee cheeks.
She is just 5 weeks older than her cousin Sapphire, they are so alike.
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Nicky with Sapphire.
Entree was crayfish and mussels,
Cat & Beth – friends for years,
Main course, mutton, pork & venison with lots of veges
Cutting the cake
Good excuse for another kiss 🙂
Mira enjoys desserts 😉
Dancing the night away.
It is at times like this that I miss Tim even more.
I loved to dance with him even though he only did the slow shoe shuffle!
It was just nice to have his arms around me.

I caught up with a few people during the evening.
The temperatures were dropping and even though there were a lot of braziers burning our feet were turning into icebergs so we said our goodbyes around 11pm and drove home.
Dropping Penny and Stephen off on the way.
Azzan was still conscious when I got back so I snuggled him down and gratefully crashed into bed.

Saturday 24th May – part 1

We had just enough time to get ready fairly leisurely and be out the door just before 10am to go pick up Mira & Nathan.
Dropped their gear back at the house, tied Nathan’s tie for him (mothers are useful creatures at times 😉  ) and then we were off up the street to find the church.
It was a lovely old wooden church.
We were all seated around 10:40am as instructed on the program.
The groom and his best men were waiting patiently up front.DSC00744
And finally, in total Bethany style, she arrived at 11:15am, looking absolutely stunningly glamerous, on her father’s arm.
We were sitting to the side so our view was hindered slightly but I love this photo I took of the bridesmaids through the gap.
Almost looks like a mirror.
The kiss!
Some of my family 🙂
Cat, Leeann, Azzan, Nathan & Mira.
We emerged out into the sunshine. and milled around meeting and greeting
and admiring Bethany’s gorgeous gown.
Mark climbed the grave stone to get our attention for the photos.DSC00765
Aunty Bri with Sapphie.
The extended Wenborn family.
The lens is having to get wider angled each wedding 😉
David & Nicola with their tribe plus Mark.DSC00780

Seb & Sapphie chatting with Paul and Amelie
Seb & Phoebe with Sapphie
Lizzy & Paul with Oscar & Amelie.
Elizabeth is the designer and creator of all the gowns and mens ties etc in the wedding party today.
Mira fussing over Sapphie.
After the photo session we al headed off in various directions.
I took Azzan back to Elizabeth & Robin’s as he was not feeling well enough to last the afternoon & evening celebrations.
Nathan walked home with James, and Mira & I went off to Artisan Bakery for some quiet peaceful vegetarian girls time 😉

Afterwards we drove to Wenborns and socialised for a while until it was time to drive up to North Loburn.
The day was getting chillier and the closer we got to the mountains the greyer and colder and sleetier it got.
Thankfully I had some blankets in the car to wrap around Mira as she was frozen.

Friday 23rd May

I worked all night on the photo album I am making of Jesika & Evan’s wedding.  I got so engrossed in it I didn’t notice the time slipping by!
After only 2 hours sleep I zipped through the shower, packed up the car and left Azzan in the care of John & Sally who were going to deliver him into the city to me later in the morning.
I had several things to do, and an hour up my sleeve to do them.
Managed to get everything completed with no hassle or stress and be at my counselling session 15 minutes early.
That gage me time to sit in the car and phone Vodafone and sort out an issue with them over our ship phone.
They were great and we got it all sussed just as I was walking in the door at 10:15am.
Had a good session.
Was able to clear the air and articulate to my therapist how she had upset me the previous time.
That is incredible progress for me.
I have never been good at confrontational communication, and tend to go hide in a hole in an emotional mess instead.

From there I had to go straight to my dentist appointment.
It was good to have half an hour horizontal 🙂
Azzan was waiting there for me when I came out and we zipped down the street to Noel Leeming to suss out my damaged camera.
Then Azzan raced over to get some hot potatoes for lunch and to the Sushi shop for some dumplings for himself.
We picked up Nathan & Mira and were out of town before 1pm.

Had a good drive over to Blenheim, although I realised as I was nearing Blenheim that I had forgotten to fuel up in Nelson.
Thank goodness I had just enough to get us there!
A quick couple of stops to fuel up, and then to the bank, and we were away again.
We had chosen to drive the coastal route as Mira wanted to see the seals.
I stopped at the carpark to take her up to see the baby seals at the waterfall and discovered she had never been there before.
She had only seen the adult seals on the shore so it was a lovely surprise for her.
The day was closing so it was quite dark at the waterfall under the bush.
Nathan stayed back at the car.
I don’t like leaving it unattended with all our gear in it.
Sad, but too many break-ins occur at carparks like this.
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Azzan went back to the car so Nathan walked in to meet us.DSC00723 DSC00727 DSC00730It’s only a 5 minute walk in off the road but it is so pretty.DSC00738 DSC00741
We carried on to Kaikoura.
It was getting quite dark by now and we were all feeling somewhat peckish so we stopped at the supermarket and got some chicken, salad & ciabatta buns.
Nathan sat in the back and filled the buns for us.
They were very delicious.
I was quite weary but managed to get us to Rangiora by around 7:30pm.
Made very good time actually.
I dropped Nathan & Mira off at their motel and then I drove a couple of minutes up the road to Robin & Elizabeth’s where we are crashing for the weekend.
Was soooooo good to get out of the car and collapse with a cuppa before crashing in a very cosy bed.

Thursday 22nd May

The alarm woke me at 5am.
I had time to copy a couple more albums of photos onto dvds while I got dressed, packed up the frozen stuff and got the car packed.
Woke Azzan at 5:30am.
We were gone before 6am.
Did well 🙂
Azzan has not been feeling great for the past couple of days.
Nothing specific except that he describes his stomach feels as it has been put it the washing machine.
He is eating selected foods.
This morning he took some fruit but ate nothing, just dozed most of the way.
We were in town by 8:30am.
I went straight to the centre to drop off some boxes to the op shop.
When I turned into the carpark the car made some weird noises and clunks.
Rather concerning.
I drove very carefully around to Tahunanui.
Seemed ok so I diverted to Arrow Motel to put the frozen meats into the freezer before heading to Muratai Motors to get the fan belts tightened and a new battery installed.
But when I manoeuvred the car it did the same clunks and weird steering motions again.
I was getting very worried so tentatively drove to the garage and told them what was happening.
They did the belts and tested the battery, totally stuffed so definitely needed a new one.
Then we went for a test drive and of course the car behaved perfectly.
They checked everything they could think of but found nothing wrong so I left and said I would monitor it through the day.
Went directly to wholesaler to pick up a few things and when I reversed in and parked up I all of a sudden realised I was still in Auto mode which allows the car to be 4WD.
I put it into 2WD and guess what??
No more clunking and weird steering.
It does not like to be in 4WD on tarsal!!
Problem solved 😉

When I left I had to drop the groceries off to a friend of Anson’s and then another box off to Alan.
Was trying to ascertain where Andy lived and which place was closest from Anson’s directions and the iPhone map, but I got totally bushed and rather stressed finding my way.
Eventually got it sorted and unloaded at both places.
Azzan was being very helpful and was lifting and carrying anything that was too heavy for me.
Still being protective of my back.

Once we got rid of all the big stuff then we headed into the city centre and did a couple of the extremity jobs before parking up in the centre and walking to the rest of them.
We were both hungry so first stop was Morrison St cafe.
I wanted corn fritters with avocado but Azzan wanted burritos from the Mexican place not far away.
He sat with me while I ate and then once I was nearly finished he went off to order his as takeaways.
Then he sat in the sun near JayJays and Smiggle while I shopped.
He was entertained by the police coming to arrest several young folk for shoplifting!!
Then we unloaded the bags into the car and went to Whitcoulls to change a book.
Huge sale so had fun 🙂
He was getting tired so took the books back to the car to rest up while I went to pick up our tickets and passports from Roni at Harvey World Travel.
Most exciting.
Countdown has begun!!
As I walked down Trafalgar St I passed a couple of police cars and a policeman directing a handcuffed guy into the car.
Seems to be a busy day of illegal activity in town today!!

Zipped back to the car as the meter was running out.
My phone was almost flat so I decided to put it on the car charger and go for a drive to New World to pick up a few things and give it time to charge.
Banged into b-i-l Martin there – good to have a quick catch up before we both head overseas 🙂

Back into the city again and we both went walking.
I had papers to pick up at the bank, have witnessed at lawyers and then drop off at accountants.
Still had time to take Azzan to Farmers.
They had a huge sale on and he needed sox and underwear.
‘Shhh Mum! Don’t say that word out loud in public!’  🙂
So ins tread of waiting to shop in Oz like he was hoping we got them all here at exceptional prices, plus he got several pairs of jeans and a really cool jersey.
He was very happy.
As was I at the bargains.

We stopped and got him a baked potato for lunch and then I dropped him off at the library.
I spent the next hour and a half at Nelson Beauty Therapy.
It is the best end of the day to have an appointment there!!
After an early start and non stop action it was so good to lie back and relax and be pampered by Amanda.

It was really windy when I left at 4:30pm.
Drove to the library and got Azzan as new card as his one has disappeared.
It costs $2.50 to replace the original free one :-/
Then we went to Hangar 58 and had an early dinner and talked to Nathan as he cruised by during his shift.
I dropped Azzan back at the motel and then drove out to visit Shoshannah.
Chatted with her and Ross & Andrea while they had dinner.
They went out at 7pm and Shoshannah had a Skype session booked soon after so I left her to it and cruised off to Stoke to see Phillipa & Pat for a while.
Finally made it back to the motel around 9:30pm.
Azzan was tucked up in bed watching tv.
I had a quick catch up with John & Sally, organised tomorrow and then hopped into my bed.
Long day, but satisfyingly productive.


Wednesday 21st May

I woke around 6 and got busy in the study.
I nearly missed this incredible view of the bay just after 7am cuz I had my head down working.
It was amazing.
No photoshop here – just as it was!!

Nuana went off and spent the day working on Tardis with the guys.
It was quite a blustery day so I hung washing on the line.
Anson came round first thing for a while to organise the kids but then he got busy and never came back for them.

I was busy all day getting things tidied up and packing etc.
Made a potato dish in the slow cooker for dinner.
Found the recipe on Facebook and it looked quite good.
You line the cooker with tinfoil and then layer potatoes, onions, bacon & cheese several times and then seal the tinfoil and cook on low for 10-12 hours.
That seemed an awful long time but I turned it on at 10am and left it to do its thing and hoped for the best.
Mahalia made broccoli & blue cheese soup.
It was deeeeelicious!
Azzan reckoned it was ‘to die for good’.
Had some for lunch and froze the rest for Hali and Nuana to enjoy later.

I did lots of cleaning and sorting in my room as I was packing my bag.
Got rid of lots of things.
So with the kids doing a chuck out too, I have two large boxes to drop off at the op shop tomorrow.

Tidied up some loose ends in the study, made several business phone calls & caught up with Lizzie, Paula & Ella.

Kids went off to find Olly later this arvo.
It was too windy to ride him so they just walked him home.

The potato casserole was really yummy but did not look at all like the picture!
We all decided that it is quite fun cooking without an oven, makes you think outside the square.
Mahalia made some mousse in the vitamin for dessert.
She doubled the recipe but it was way too much.
We couldn’t eat a lot as it was too rich so lots left over for Anson to clean up tomorrow 😉
She made it from avocado, but you wouldn’t even know it was in there.
Really good.
Sweetened with berries.

Finished packing and threw all the bags in the car.
Quite a load in already as we are taking Nick’s dive gear down to Chch for him, plus a heap of boxes to drop off in Nelson.
Sat and went through things with Mahalia so she knows all the contact details and what to do re the mail & phone calls etc.

I had a shower after dinner to save time in the morning as I want to make an early get away.
Spent the rest of the evening burning off dvds of our road trip photos.
Trying to make some space on my laptop and save them for Mahalia to play with on the

Tuesday 20th May

Woke earlyish but stayed in bed till around 8am.
Trying to make myself rest.
For the first time since I returned home I heard the wind blowing.
It tends to raise the temperatures which is great.

Another busy day.
Mahalia was painting her nails.
She said she thought it she did them early in the morning then they would dry and set before she had to do anything.
Today they were white with black drawings on them.

However her early was not early enough so all day I have been hearing frustration noises from her when she damages the paint.
First world problems – so tough :-/

I got the kitchen fire cranked up as the water was cold.
It took quite a while to get the water to heat.
I made a fruit smoothie in the Vitamix for breakfast.
Mahalia was craving muffins and as I had yoghurt to use up I made a batch for her.
Went to find the muffin trays and found that mice had chewed holes in the silicon making several of the muffin holes unusable.
Little blighters!
Sent half of the muffins back with Anson & Marah later.

Mahalia and Nuana spent ages sorting out the pantry first.
We had packed most of the food away in bins to prevent mice damage.
So it was time to unpack them and sort groceries so I know what shopping is needed.
I decided to make some fudge cake from the biscuit crumbs left over from Jesika’s wedding cheese cakes.
It made up 6 batches.
I iced them and left them to set, Mahalia cut them up later and child them ready to pack away.
There was mountains of dishes to do so I washed as soon as the water was hot enough, and Azzan dried and put away.


Then after a rest the girls emptied out both freezers and did a huge sort out.
Took a while, they wore ski gloves and had lots of rests.
Such a tough job 😉

I got Azzan’s bags completely sorted and packed.
Am taking some of Jesika & Evan’s wedding presents over to them so am wrapping them in our clothes to protect them.
Also Tim’s bible.
Jesika asked me ages ago if she could have something of her Dad’s and I offered her his Bible.
She was delighted, but I haven’t been able to part with it yet.
Decided that this trip was a good opportunity to take it over to her so sat and went through it and took out all his notes.
Seeing his handwriting, and finding his pencil tucked inside was just a bit much for me.
The tears came unbidden, I sat and cried unobtrusively.
Azzan noticed and came over and cuddled me and just let me cry.
Had a good chat on the phone with Sandra soon after which helped heaps.
Thanks my special next door friend xxxx

Azzan had seen a recipe that he wanted to try.
I took some saveloys from the freezer and boiled them up, then he poked spaghetti noodles through them.
Then he boiled them to cook the spaghetti.
Its pretty cool 🙂
I used the tomato sauce Mahalia made.
It had a hefty amount of cayenne in it so is too spicy to eat straight.
I added a can of coconut cream and a can of diced tomatoes to some of it and Azzan poured it over the spaghetti and topped it with grated cheese.
It was really yummy.

I was pretty weary by this time so took my plate and lay on my bed to watch a movie.
I had not been there long when I heard a very quiet whisper in the hallway.
A few seconds later Anson & Eden crept in to surprise me!
Eden rolled around on the bed with me while Anson & I talked.
Marah came and took her away so we could talk in peace.

We eventually made it out to the lounge and the kids gave Eden a balloon to play with.
Anson was in a very playful teasing mood and kept hitting it from her so she had to chase it.
Marah got irked with him for upsetting Eden so it all very soon turned into a bit of a domestic 🙂
Crazy family!!
All over a pink balloon 😉
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They loaded my electric stove onto the back of the truck and then everyone hopped on the back with it and Anson drove back to The Croft.
Marah’s oven is barely functioning so I have given her mine.
We can make do until Anson is able to bring in another one for me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the study sorting out photos and getting paperwork printed etc.
Anson came round again and used the computer.
Cat & Leeann arrived back from a week over at D’Urville Island.
Mahalia walked Olly back, he is being a bit stroppy as he hasn’t been ridden for a couple of months.
She will have to put some work into him to tone him down again.
Nuana headed off to bed early.
She is still not 100%.

I unearthed myself sometime after 6pm and found the two kids rarking about in the lounge and nothing done towards dinner.
I was unimpressed.
They soon rallied and we quickly made a stir fry of veges, bacon and tomatoes.
Mahalia sorted, washed and froze a heap of spinach and Azzan chopped up celery for the freezer.
Then we added some feta to dinner and served it on couscous.
It was very easy, fresh, nourishing & tasty.
Good to show the kids that you can cook something quick in the electric frypan and not have to be reliant on the stove.

Sunday 19th May

I was woken during the night by a distinctly loud whisper calling ‘Mum’!
I woke suddenly but there was no one there.
I know I heard it.

Went back to sleep and then woke around 4:30am.
Was wide awake so sat in bed and spent a couple of hours replying to emails that had been accruing in my Inbox.
Some were embarrassingly there a long time :-/

Caught up with them then around 7am I filled my hottie, heated up the leftovers of Sandra’s delicious macaroni cheese & salmon, made myself a cup of herb tea and came back to bed for a while longer to watch the rest of ‘Queen’ while I heat packed my back.
When the movie finished I dozed for a while.
The kids were up and Nuana was wandering around – looking somewhat better than yesterday but still not 100%.
Decided around 9am that we needed to get the day underway so we cranked through a list I had in my head of things I wanted to achieve for this morning.
First I called Seb and asked, ‘What does a battery charger look like? How do I work it? And where do I find it?’
From there Nuana & I marched on up to the workshop, located the charger, attached it to my car battery and turned it on and left it to do its thing.
Then Nuana & the kids carried down the kitchen vinyl to store in the house until Graham returns to fix it.
Found the 20L hydrogen peroxide I bought a few months back and relocated that to the washhouse so I can use it in washing and spa pool.
Then Nuana & I took a walk up to the shed to see if we could get the old farm truck going.
I have never driven this beast before but was feeling up for the challenge.
Thankfully Nuana was with me and was able to suss out that the battery was disconnected.
Got that sorted and turned on the key and away she went.
I backed it out of the shed very cautiously and trundled down the hill.
It’s a pretty basic model these days and there are no mirrors so backing was a bit of a mission, but with some guidance I got it sussed.

Then the kids loaded Eden’s birthday trampoline on the back, hopped on with it and I put the foot to the metal and we ground our way back up the orchard.
I crept along the road cautiously, it was a bit of a mission to drive.
I really needed several pillows behind my back and some major muscles in my shoulders!!
But I managed to move it up through to 3rd gear and we arrived safely at The Croft.
Marah heard us coming and thought it was Anson.
She yelled in major surprise to see me driving it which shocked Eden into giving a really loud scream.
Such fun!!

The crew carried the trampoline up to the house and while we deliberated where to put it we had a look at the alterations being done.
Eden thinks the nails are excellent things to play with and wanted to share them around.
It was getting on to lunch time so we put the trampoline on the back deck for now.
Eden thought it was super cool to have her toy and had some bouncing fun with Azzan to stir her along.
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e said our goodbyes as it was Eden’s lunch & nap time.
But before we left Marah wanted to take some photographic evidence of my escapade 🙂
In lieu of wing mirrors I used the girls to direct my reversing!
My co pilot 🙂

We had a relaxing afternoon.
I got Azzan semi packed.
Made dinner.

The kids didn’t want to watch my choice of movie while we ate dinner so they chose a Nora Roberts thriller romance ‘Northern Lights’.
The fires hadn’t been going so there was no hot water for the dishes so we left them till morning.
Not my favourite thing to do, but whatever!